From when we are born our interaction with the world around us stimulates our brain. We quickly begin to develop preferences for some forms of stimulation over others. By late adolescence these preferences are virtually "set in concrete" and we have developed a preference for one of four ways of relating to the world around us: things-abstract, concrete-things, concrete-people, or people-abstract. Below, each of these four ways of dialoguing with reality are briefly described.
Things-Abstract [Technical Architect]
These are people who have a preference for using their hands to "tinker" with or to create things and to use their intellect to develop models or plans. They rely mostly on discovering things about the world through thinking about it and intellectually analysing it. They prefer to gather information visually. They are the "accidental leaders" because they will often create a technology which everyone else wants. People such as Bill Gates and the inventor of Facebook are examples. People with this brain-preference are not particularly interested in politics, they are the "corporatists" and would be quite comfortable living a totally privatized world.
Things-Concrete [Quality Producer/Crafts Person]
These are "hands on" people who like certainty and like activities/organisations to be well structured. They prefer things to be down-to-earth rather than abstract and intangible. People with this preference may be athletes, mechanics, surgeons, gardeners, accountants, farmers, etc. They will prefer a political party which gives them certainty and a sense of security. They will also prefer a party which is conservative in its policies rather than one which comes up with innovative new (never-tried-before) policy.
Concrete-People [People Servants]
As with the Quality Producers, People Servants like structure. However, their preference is for spending time with and talking to people, rather than relating to the world of non-human things. They will choose careers as school teachers, actors, ethicists, priests/nuns, public servants, value consultants, etc. They will also prefer a party which is somewhat conservative in its policies, however, they will put people ahead of balancing the budget. So, if their party spends too much money on welfare (i.e. caring for those who can't care for them selves), their party will probably be voted out of office and a party supported by the Quality Producers will be voted back in on the promise of spending cuts to bring the budget back into surplus.
People-Abstract [Social Architects]
The Social Architects, like the People Servants, prefer the world of people to the world of non-human things. Social Architects are comfortable functioning in a world of uncertainty--in fact it's their preference--too much of the "same old, same old" and they get bored. Social Architects like to create models to understand how people behave, they like designing new social systems. They are the "greens", social-ecologists, social-activists, social scientists, social policy planners, etc. in our society.
The diagram below plots all four of these preferences for relating to the world:
You might ask why only adjacent preferences are described. Why not People-Things or Concrete-Abstract? Research by Walter Lowen and others has found many aspects of the brain are dichotomous. Thus we cannot consciously be using the part of our brain which deals with the abstract at the same time as the part which deals with the concrete. Similarly, we cannot be consciously using the part of our brain that we need to relate to people at the same time as we are concentrating on performing a delicate task with our hands (if you have a surgeon with bad bedside manner operating on you, be very pleased!!).
Because people's brain-preference shapes a person's worldview and therefore determines some of their values (we've found 40 of the 128 values are correlated with brain-preference), a person's priority values can be used to identify their brain-preference. The chart below is my brain-preference map as identified from my priority values--click on the image to see the full size Brain-Preference Map as a PDF document.
Click here to take an inventory of your values so you can have your own brain-preference map.